Don PageMember for Ballina- State Matters

Ballina Hospital update

My office has recently received several enquiries regarding the redevelopment of Ballina District Hospital and the construction of both a Transitional Care Unit and Rehabilitation Unit on land behind the existing hospital.

I am now able to provide an update on the status of these projects and future plans for our hospital.

The $4.8 million 18-bed Transitional Care Unit will provide home-like units catering for elderly residents who have had an acute care episode. This will allow those people to receive supported or transitional care before returning home. The Transitional Care Unit is jointly funded by the state and federal governments.

The construction of the Transitional Care Unit is well underway at the site bordered by Fox and Moon streets. You may have noticed the concrete slab has been poured, the wall framing erected and the roof is almost on.

In addition, $2.18 million has also been allocated for the construction of the $6.95 million 24-bed Ballina Hospital Rehabilitation Unit, which will adjoin the Transitional Care Unit.

Given the allocation of $2.18 million this financial year, the ambulatory care section of the development, which is the first stage of the construction of the Rehabilitation Unit, will now be built together with the Transitional Care Unit. It is expected the Transitional Care Unit will open in early 2007.

The North Coast Area Health Service will also be preparing a master plan for the redevelopment of the Ballina Hospital site. A committee will be established to oversee the development of the master plan, which will be the starting point for future development at Ballina District Hospital. The plan will identify what will be needed over the next 15 to 20 years, ie how many beds will be needed and what services need expanding. The Area Health Service expects the master plan to be completed in early 2007.

Watermark sod turning

Last week I had the pleasure of turning the sod for the new Watermark Apartments on the riverfront at Ballina.

The $6.6 million apartments on Fawcett Street will replace the recently demolished Golden Eagle flats. The six-storey development consists of five units which will all be sold as private residences.

The Watermark Apartments will continue the enhancement of Ballinas waterfront precinct and will provide the missing link in the riverfront cycle way, allowing waterfront public access.

Sports program applications open

Applications for funding under the Regional Sports Facilities Program are now open. This program provides funds to develop and enhance the network of major sporting and recreational facilities that meets the needs of the general community and may incorporate uses for talented and elite athletes.

Applications close on 31 August. Applications forms are available from my office or via the website

For more information phone 9006 3700.

Sylvia Smith Singers receive $3000

The wonderful efforts of the Sylvia Smith Singers have been rewarded with a $3000 grant to purchase a portable piano. The Sylvia Smith Singers have been entertaining the regions retirement home residents with their enjoyable performances for 23 years. But many of the retirement homes do not have a suitable piano to accompany the singers.

This much-needed funding provided by the Premiers Department will ensure all retirement home residents and other community groups can enjoy the full benefit of the entertainment provided by the Sylvia Smith Singers.

Office contacts

Phone: 6686 7522

Fax: 6686 7470

Address: PO Box 1018, Ballina, NSW, 2478


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